Battle Dungeon, a new iOS game from Scottish developer Hunted Cow, looked like it had some promise. But now we'll never really know, as the game has been pulled from the App Store due to piracy -- and it wasn't even out for a week.
According to Touch Arcade, Battle Dungeon "offered up gameplay in the vein of Outwitters and Hero Academy, with a 3D environment, XCOM style action points and an RPG twist." Sounds great, right? If the re-release of Baldur's Gate is any sign, returning to more of the old school RPG elements that have been lost in a lot of mobile games today is something that gamers are looking for.
But apparently Battle Dungeon was a little too great, as it attracted hordes of pirates that took advantage of the game's multiplayer setup. Wayne 'Zorg' Robinson, a senior web developer at Hunted Cow, took to the forums to address the issue:
We've released a few titles now in to the iOS market, but it wasn't until our first multiplayer title that we got a good look at the current state of piracy.
With single player games you release them and don't really know to what extent a game is being pirated. However, when you release a multiplayer game that requires account creation to play you suddenly get a much clearer picture. The answer? Around 90% of our signups were coming from pirated copies of our game.
As of now, Hunted Cow has shut down the servers completely, for both single player and multiplayer. They couldn't handle the legitimate traffic, in addition to all of the traffic from pirated copies. This is really unfortunate for the developers, who seem to want to just put a good product out there.
What does this mean for piracy with other iOS games? We think that in the case of Battle Dungeon, the piracy might be related to the game itself, with the subject matter attracting a more hardcore gaming audience (and in turn, one that is more familiar with the ins and outs of computers).
Regardless of what the reason may be, Hunted Cow has taken some drastic measures to figure out what to do next. In the meantime, they're offering people their money back, which is an incredibly stand up thing to do. Hopefully they will come up with a good solution to all of this.